Okay, guys. I just got done changing the fuel filter on my 1994 Honda Accord, and it is not easy. So, I thought that I would take a few minutes to write up a thread giving recommendations on how to make the job easier based on what I went through. I promise you, if you follow my advice, this job will be a lot easier. This is not a job that you want to embark on without sufficient knowledge and the right tools for the job. So, take a few minutes and read what I'm about to write. I promise you won't regret it.
In case you haven't found it, the fuel filter on the 1994 Accord is located directly below the master cylinder inside the engine compartment. There is a banjo bolt on the top, a flare nut fitted metal brake line on the back, and a bracket holding it in place that has two 10mm bolts in it. You have VERY little space to work with, so make sure that you've got the right tools for the job. Otherwise, you'll end up tool-throwing mad like I was. I started taking it apart, but had to put everything back together and go get the right stuff to complete the task. Then, once I had it, the job took me less than 30 minutes.
First off, gather your tools. I put the front of the car up on jack stands, so I recommend you have a pair of those and a floor jack to raise your car up. Also, make sure you have a drain or drip pan to catch the fuel you're bound to lose. That way, you don't leak all over your driveway. THE MOST IMPORTANT TOOL FOR THIS JOB IS A 14MM FLARE NUT CROW'S FOOT. I can't stress this enough. Without this tool, you're begging for a nightmare. If you don't know what this is, a regular crow's foot looks like the open-ended part of a wrench that mounts on the end of a ratchet extension. A flare-nut crow's foot is the same thing, only it looks like the closed end part of a wrench with a small portion cut out of it. The purpose of this is to have the tool fit around the metal line, but still wrap around five of the six corners of the flare nut. That way, you can put more muscle into breaking flare nuts loose without running as much risk of stripping your flare nut as you do with an open-ended wrench or crow's foot. If you strip it, you're screwed. And if you live anywhere where it snows, it's likely that corrosion has made your flare nut difficult to remove from your fuel filter. Trust me, borrow this tool, or drop the coin to buy one. It'll make your life so much easier.
You'll also need the following tools to finish the job: 3/8 drive ratchet; 1/4 drive ratchet; 10mm socket (3/8 drive); 10mm socket (1/4 drive); 10mm deep socket (1/4 drive); 17mm socket (3/8 drive); and at least 2 feet of 3/8 drive extension of various lengths. You also might want to gather a healthy selection of screw drivers and pliers, and also a hammer and a pry bar. These items aren't essential, but might come in handy.
It is recommended that the first thing you do is release the fuel pressure. Refer to a manual for this. Also, DO NOT take the two 10mm bolts out of the bracket yet. It's easier to bust the fuel lines loose if the filter is still mounted to the car.
The second step is to pop the flare nut fitting loose on the back of the fuel filter. Take your 14mm flare nut crow's foot and put it on about 2 feet of extension on the 3/8 ratchet. Get under the car and look for the back side of the fuel filter. Once you locate it, work your crow's foot up in there, over the fuel line, and onto the flare nut. Make sure that it's fully seated, and loosen it. It might take some muscle. If you've got the right tool, don't be afraid to lay into it. Once you get it to pop, make sure you slide your drain or drip pan under to catch the fuel that might be left over after releasing the fuel pressure. Once you've got the flare nut loosened and it will turn freely, you can move on to the banjo bolt. It's okay if the flare nut is still slightly in the fuel filter. You can either turn the fuel filter or reach behind and manually spin the flare nut fitting out from above. It's easier that way.
Go up to the topside, now. Get out all two feet of 3/8 extension that you have and put the 17mm socket onto the end of it. Attach your ratchet, and work the socket down to the banjo bolt. Once you're on it, put a little muscle into it and bust it loose. Remove the banjo bolt and put it where you can find it later. Pull the fuel line up and put it out of your way.
Now, that you've got both fuel lines off (or at least loose), you can remove the 10mm bolt that holds the fuel filter bracket to the car. I recommend leaving the bolt that holds the bracket onto the filter alone and removing the filter and bracket as one piece. Use your 3/8 ratchet with a 4" extension and a 10mm socket to remove this bolt. Once that bolt's out, reach behind and finish loosening the flare nut on the back side. If you can't turn it by hand, turn the filter until it pops loose. Now, manipulate the filter and bracket past the master cylinder to remove it from the car. Trust me, it can be done. Just might take a little finesse.
One more thing to note real quick: be extra careful not to bend the bracket when you're messing with it. It'll be a pain to put the filter back in if you bend the bracket. I had to remove mine a couple of times to straighten the bracket when putting it back together.
Now that you've got the filter and bracket out, remove the bracket from the old filter using your 1/4 drive and your 10mm deep socket. Put the bracket on the new filter, aligning the tab and the slot, and tighten it to the filter. Now, you're ready to put it back in. Finesse it back into place, but before starting the bolt that holds the bracket to the car, reach behind and start threading the flare nut into the back side of the filter. Tighten the flare nut AS FAR AS YOU CAN by hand. This will make the process with the crow's foot a little easier later on. Now, put the curved tab on the fuel filter bracket into the slot on the car and put the 10mm bolt in to hold the filter in place. Tighten everything down, and you're ready to tighten your fuel lines.
The rest of the way is a snap. Put your banjo bold through your fuel line, ensuring that you replace the copper crush washers on BOTH sides of the fuel line, and tighten it into place with your 17mm socket and your two feet of extensions. Once that's done, you're finished with the top side of the car. Go back around the bottom, put your crow's foot on your extensions, and tighten the flare nut into the backside of the filter. Don't be afraid to put a little muscle into tightening both sides of the line, but don't get ridiculous. You don't want to mess anything up. Once you're all tight, start the car and inspect for leaks.
There, you're done!! Aren't you glad you read my thread?! Sure, it was long, but I promise you, by taking 10 minutes to read this, you saved yourself an hour of work and a lot of stress from cursing the engineers at Honda Motor Corp. Now, go drive your Accord and enjoy the newfound fuel flow. Go crack open a beer once you get home. You've earned it!!
Thanks for reading, guys!!
Excellent . I recently ran into one that the flare bolt would not release. I bought the crows foot flare 14mm tool and it made a world of a difference. I'm a tech and regardless of what anyone says, you gave a great answer in my opinion.
Just a lifelong DIYer here, but your post was excellent. Had not ever heard of a flare nut crows foot wrench but now I have a set. Don't know how this task would be accomplished otherwise. Thanks for the post.
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